Festive Bulacan “Pinaso” Dessert (a step-by-step guide)


Today’s recipe is also from the historical cookbook, Kasaysayan ng Kaluto ng Bayan, (Zita Publishing Corp., 1993), penned by the late Bulacan food historian, Mrs. Milagros Santiago-Enriquez, and translated in English by BlauEarth for this post. If you enjoyed gorgorya, you’ll likewise enjoy pinaso and its cross-cultural character. Said to be Mexican in origin, the dish dates back to the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade.

Pinaso is the Filipino word for scorched. Tourists visiting Bulacan, Tita Mila wrote, take joy in the unique way of preparing the dessert. Indeed, one of the memorable dishes featured by Chef Sandy Daza on Lifestyle Network’s FoodPrints that earned the nod of the foodistas among the crew. The taste is a cross between leche flan and crème brûlée.


I did an all-new picture guide for your reference. Dayap was unavailable so lemon rind was used. You can perhaps tweak the sweetness to suit your preference.


2 cups milk
½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup finely crushed saltine crackers
5 eggs
dayap rind, grated
1/4  cup granulated sugar



Mix together milk, eggs and crackers and cook until thick. Add dayap rind and the 1/2 cup of granulated sugar. Pour mixture into a shallow dish. Sprinkle top with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. With a “nagbabagang siyanseng bakal” (red-hot steel turner), scorch the surface until sugar turns into a deep amber caramel.


Revive the dying Filipino customs and traditions with this utterly simple but lovely treat. Maligayang Pasko!

Thanking food historian Milagros Santiago-Enriquez for the recipe, the Lifestyle Network’s FoodPrints and Lynne.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2013

Gorgorya, a step-by-step Bulacan heritage recipe


Through my stint as legit blogger for the Lifestyle Network’s FoodPrints, we got to unearth not so common heritage recipes in two not so talked about food-tripping destinations in the country. One of them is gorgorya (or gurgurya or golloria). According to Riza Santiago-Hernandez, a niece of awarded food and culture historian Milagros Santiago Enriquez, who made a short and sweet demo on gorgorya-making in Malolos, Bulacan — in the colonial period, when the friars were building churches, incorporating egg whites to bind rocks, corals and shells together, people found ways to utilize egg yolks, hence the rise of egg-based desserts such as shell-shaped gorgorya, leche flan, pinaso. yema and many more.

The late Tita Mila, as she is fondly called by Riza, wished to share the heirloom recipes for the next generations of Pinoys to enjoy.

Gorgorya can last up to a month without refrigeration, making it suitable to cook in big batches. It’s Christmastime, so Lynne and I tried to roll some for friends. Riza’s demo included kalumata leaves for an herby anise-like flavor. Kalumata plant, she says, is typical near old churches in Bulacan.

Steps in Making Gorgorya

Tita Mila’s original recipe was lifted from the book, Kasaysayan ng Kaluto ng Bayan, (Zita Publishing Corp., 1993) she penned, and translated in English by BlauEarth for this post.


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 5 tsps milk
  • 1 egg,  beaten
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsps water
  • grated dayap rind (native lemon)


Mix all ingredients together except sugar, water and dayap. Mix evenly. Mold dough and cut into small pieces. Press each piece into a fork and roll to form a shell shape. Deep fry in oil until golden-red. Set aside.

Boil sugar and water until thick. Drop in grated dayap rind and the shell-shaped pieces and mix until fully coated.

The BlauEarth’s Kitchen version

I used artificial flavors in place of kalumata leaves, and butter rather than margarine. Lynne and I added some dayap rind directly to the dough mixture, then followed the rest of the steps. There’s a semblance of how local binuelos or cascaron are made.

UntitledFlavorsGorgorya ShellsGorgorya

It’s easy to recreate the time-honored Bulacan cookies. Enjoy!

Acknowledgements: Thanking food historian Milagros Santiago Enriquez for the recipe, Riza Santiago-Hernandez for the cooking demo and the Lifestyle Network’s FoodPrints.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2013